Image Source: Interesting Engineering

In the ongoing battle between Google and ad-blockers, YouTube users are finding themselves caught in the crossfire once again. Recent reports highlight that individuals with ad blockers enabled are experiencing frustrating delays on the video-sharing platform, leading to impaired functionality and sluggish loading times.

Google’s Escalating Anti-Ad Blocker Measures

It’s no secret that Google has been actively targeting ad-blockers, and the situation seems to be escalating. Users with ad blockers are now facing slowdowns on YouTube, a move that has stirred frustration among the community. The suggested solution? Either disable your ad blocker or opt for a subscription to YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience.

They added a damn timer for the "Adblock is not allowed on youtube" : r/ youtube
Source: Reddit

In its quest to discourage the use of ad blockers, Google has previously experimented with on-screen pop-up messages and a stringent three-strikes policy that disabled the video player after three videos were watched with an ad blocker installed. This recent wave of slowdowns echoes a similar tactic tested in November, warning users of “suboptimal viewing” with an ad blocker in place.

Reddit Reports

Reddit users have been vocal about encountering issues on YouTube while using ad blockers. Multiple users reported slowdowns, some even mistaking them for connectivity problems. Problems loading previews and accessing features like fullscreen or theater mode became prevalent for those with ad blockers. Interestingly, disabling the ad blocker significantly improved load times, confirming the correlation.

When 9to5Google investigated, they observed prolonged video buffering, preview loading issues, and the unavailability of fullscreen and theater modes without refreshing the page. While the issue wasn’t replicated universally, it suggests that these ad block restrictions may be region-specific.

Artificial Timeout in YouTube’s Code

The problem seems to originate from an artificial timeout embedded in YouTube’s code. This mechanism intentionally slows down the video player, mimicking the experience of a laggy internet connection. While not a novel strategy, it’s gaining prominence as more users grapple with its impact.

Limited Options for Users

If you’re among the users experiencing these frustrations, your choices are limited: either disable your ad blocker or invest in a YouTube Premium subscription. The motive behind these measures appears to be an effort to discourage users from employing ad-blockers, a move that, while anecdotal for now, aligns with Google’s commitment to safeguard its substantial ad revenue.

YouTube tries to kill ad blockers in push for ad dollars, Premium subs | Ars Technica
Source: Arc Tech

Considering Google’s reported $224.47 billion in ad revenue for 2022, it’s evident that the tech giant is determined to protect this lucrative revenue stream, employing various tactics to dissuade users from relying on ad-blockers. The ongoing tug-of-war between user preferences and corporate interests continues to shape the online experience for millions of YouTube enthusiasts.

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Usman Kashmirwala
Your thoughts are your biggest asset in this world and as a content writer, you get a chance to pen down these thoughts and make them eternal. I am Usman Kashmirwala, apart from being a movie maniac, car geek and a secret singer, I am a guy lucky enough to be working in a profession that allows me to showcase my opinions and vision to the world every day and do my little part in making it a better place for all of us.